When you are prepared to adapt, you are willing to grow. The COVID-19 lockdown has helped me to re-evaluate my life, my priorities, and how I generally go about my everyday practices.
I have spoken to associates, colleagues, and family members who feel cheated as a result of the lockdown. Not surprising when holidays have been cancelled, people have been furloughed, the uncertainty around academic attainment, not being able to see relatives and friends in person, or attend group functions. While others feel this has been an opportunity to diversify in their work practice, build new relationships, interact using different ICT mediums, develop a sense of social justice, etc. I fall within the latter group, because I have adapted my mindset to focus on the opportunities this period has produced. I would like to share a few snippets of how I used my time during lockdown with the aim to encourages others to be positive during this turbulent time.
The lockdown has changed my way of working. I work from home and engage with colleagues via different ICT mediums. I speak to different colleagues on a daily basis. Before the lockdown I knew very little about the people I worked with, interact with during meetings, and sat next to occasionally in the open plan office. As part of the team’s well-being strategy, we have a daily 15-minute coffee break that allows us the time and space to have meaningful conversations. This has created group cohesiveness. I genuinely feel comfortable and a valued member of the team and not just another employee.
I attended my first virtual academic conference on the 16/17 July. The 3rd International Conference on Gender Research was held via Zoom. I chaired the Parenting, Families, and Girls stream. This was my first time chairing a session at an academic conference. I really enjoyed the experience and the two-day conference as a whole. The conference was truly international, with presenters from every continent presenting their work.
I interact with relatives in the Caribbean more now than ever before. I particularly enjoy my weekly conversations with my dad and Bro-in-law in Jamaica.
I have become even more creative with my writing. I published a new instrumental poem on my YouTube channel entailed unabashedly me! and will be publishing my second instrumental poem at the end of the month. I’ve never met Joe Prose @joeprose in person, but we have collaborated via our social medium platforms to produce my first instrumental poem.
I’ve joined several Facebook groups including Black Owned Economy and have made links with several black Owned businesses and entrepreneurs. I have also increased my activism by proactively supporting Black Pound Day as much as I can, by sourcing what I need from black owned businesses in the first instance. On Black Pound Day if I’m not spending black, then I don’t spend at all.
I attended my first council meeting via Zoom. This was not possible before the lockdown because the practices involved physical attendance to meetings and with my commute, I was not able to return in time. With the development of the residents Facebook page, I am now able to actively engage in my local community, meet other residents, and keep abreast of what is happening locally.
Diversity is definitely the spice of life, a negative situation like the Covid-19 lockdown has been perceived in different ways, but nonetheless it has definitely spiced up the way we do things and view things.
Let’s continue to grow and proceed through 2020 with purpose.